Waiting Game On Labor Deal, Free Agency

March 15th, 2020

Updated 10:27 a.m. – Will the NFL proceed with its annual free agency madness that’s scheduled to kick off tomorrow at noon?

For those not paying attention because player-owner issues are boring, the NFL Players Association closed voting last night on their new labor agreement that would keep the NFL running smoothly through the 2030 season.

And they passed the new agreement by a slim margin! Hooray!!

If they had voted no, NFL owners likely would have rejoiced because the uncertainty of coronavirus effects on the economy were not factored into the labor deal.

Mike Florio, the creator, curator and guru at ProFootballTalk.com has been speculating for days that the NFL is waiting on the vote before it suspends the start of free agency and possibly moves back the date of the draft. Regardless, an announcement should be coming today.

Joe’s not sure how the league can have a legitimate free agency period when players aren’t necessarily going to be able to travel easily, willingly or necessarily safely next week given the state world. But still, the NFL certainly could pull it off and it would be fun and exciting.

Per NFL.com, key changes of the new labor agreement are one more team in each conference qualifying for the playoffs starting in 2020, a 17-game season starting in 2021, plus a lot more pay for players.

27 Responses to “Waiting Game On Labor Deal, Free Agency”

  1. Bucfan1988 Says:

    NFL CBA approved!!! LET’S GO!!!

  2. Check your sheet Says:

    Some team please please offer the turnover machine 35 million a year so he will go elsewhere. Let’s fix our franchise as far as the quarterback position and get a consistent veteran qb in here that doesn’t notoriously turn the ball over. Go Bucs and come on Brady or Bridgewater!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I can understand postponing the draft unless you want to have it without a live audience…..but FA requires little contact and travel…..yes there is some…..but it is domestic and flights aren’t crowded so social distancing is easier. These guys are young an healthy and have minimal risks.

  4. DBS Says:

    Exactly. No reason they can not start. Privet jets or what ever theses millionaires do not need to delay this now.

  5. Cobraboy Says:

    Most FA travel is in private jets through private terminals.

  6. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Great! Let’s get on to Free Agency and the Draft now!

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    Great news about the CBA getting done. I don’t think it is necessary to delay free agency. Why? Everything can get done just fine using the modern day technology we have available. Give me one real reason why free agency needs to be suspended. Players can’t travel? Who cares!!!!

  8. Hethrew 30 Says:

    Joe is not sure how the NFL “can have a legitimate free agency period when players aren’t necessarily going to be able to travel easily, willingly or necessarily safely.” Hogwash. With all the technology it is MORE than possible, and good to keep it moving. The media hacks like Mike Florio have been b*tching all week in a similar fashion. Yes, the players and teams lose a “splash” or “sizzle” optic (somewhat) by not flying on the team jet to their new location and holding a news conference. But this isn’t the 80s. If anything, guys like Florio get less hits on their sites because people are focused on more important stuff (COVID-19), and THAT is really what irks them. So Mike Florio should just shut his wind hole and report. He was trying to compare this to the need to shut down after the NFL played two days after Kennedy was killed. Not the same, and it’s no 9/11 either. With diligence and some luck, the draft will go (even if it is no crowd), teams will be doing their camps, and we’ll be back to having crowds again by August. Good news for the Bucs, is if they limit gatherings to crowds of 50 or less, there is no change to their gameday program.

  9. geno711 Says:

    We all want free agency so there is some sports we can talk about!

  10. BrianBucs Says:

    There’s absolutely no reason to not start or delay free agency

  11. Hawk Says:

    With all other sports coming to a standstill, the NFL would be front-page news. Actually, they are always front-page, but this way, they would the *only* news. I can’t see them letting this opportunity slip away.

  12. Marine Buc Says:

    @ hawk

    Excellent point. The NFL would be the only thing to talk about for weeks. It would be completely idiotic to suspend free agency right now. Totally idiotic!

    Stop watching the mainstream media news.

  13. MadMax Says:

    Lets get this thing going!! FA begins tomorrow!

    Bring back Shaq, JPP, and Suh! Nelson too for the right price. And there will be enough left over to sign Brady or especially Bridgewater. Then draft our holes….RT, RB, Safety.

  14. '79 Defense Says:

    They’re adding an extra team to the playoffs in each conference this year? For most teams that’s good news. For us I’d feel much more confident if they added 10.

  15. Jean Lafitte Says:

    We know how physicals are extremely important or you can end up with a one million dollar a game floppy hat on the sideline gettin’ paid.

    So Teams biggest concerns with FA’s will be player physicals performed by their own medical staff. Other than that, they have the tape and can interview with conference calls.

  16. Ivan The Insider Says:

    No reason to delay Jameis Winston walking the plank!

  17. Ivan The Insider Says:

    New CBA deal no longer allows teams to be able to use TWO tags on players at the same time.

    So the Bucs can’t Franchise tag Shaq AND Transition tag Winston like many thought they might be doing.

    More signs leading to Winston’s departure. No way they don’t franchise tag Shaq.

  18. John Sinclear Says:

    Has anybody looked at the money these guys make? They don’t have to fly coach. They don’t even have to fly commercial. Ever hear of private aircraft?

  19. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Ivan

    I agree. We will franchise Shaq Barrett and Winston will test the free agency market. No team will want him as a starter. So worst case scenario for the Bucs is to allow Winston back on a one or two year deal worth the lower end of the starting QB salary @ $20-$22mil per season.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says
    “I can understand postponing the draft unless you want to have it without a live audience…..but FA requires little contact and travel…”

    The reality of the situation is that Free Agency is not just about signing new players.

    Teams have had to delay negotiations with their own free agents because they did not know what the rules would be or what the cap would be. They’ll need some time to re-sign their own free agents before they hit the open market.

    Also: New free agents usually have to pass physicals to finalize contracts.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    So far as Shaq, he obviously wishes to return, so there is no need to franchise him with free agency being pushed back.

  22. WestChap Says:

    I hope the NFL will embrace the current constraints and show how the prudent restriction on social contact does not require halting everything pleasant in daily life given everyday technology and the abundant resources at NFL’s disposal.

    They could even spin something ludicrous on its surface (millionaires auditioning for billionaires) into a virtuous show of faith in the future. They should be confident that we will come out on the other of this deadly disease to once again hear: “Are you ready for some football?”

  23. The Coroner Says:

    Like Nike says, Just Do It.

  24. Ivan The Insider Says:

    @ Marine Buc – I think if a team lets their QB “test free agency” it’s because they don’t want him, not that they hope to get him back at a discount. You wouldn’t risk the most important position on the team to free agency. You’d either pay him, even if you have to overpay a little (and Bucs have plenty of cap space), or you’re moving on in a new direction without him. I just don’t seem them doing BOTH and it making any sort of logical sense.

    @ Bonzai – Free Agency as of right now as NOT been postponed. The big factor in possibly postponing it is because the new CBA wasn’t signed. Now that it’s signed there’s very little incentive to postpone Free Agency. Teams want to keep busy with business dealings that don’t involve crowds and games, one way they can do that is preparing for the draft, wheeling & dealing before it, as well as Free Agency.

  25. Ivan The Insider Says:

    @ WestChap – I agree and one of the ways to “go on with daily life” for the NFL would be to proceed with Free Agency as normal as well as preparing for the NFL Draft. All which can be done with limited social contact of crowds, etc.

  26. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Ivan

    That’s why I started with “worst case scenario for the Bucs” –

    Winston is just a backup plan if we fail to sign Brady, Bridgewater or Rivers.

    If we do sign Winston it won’t be a long term deal.

  27. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I am not in the fake crisis crowd. I am going to miss the six year olds I work with Tuesday afternoon school is closed. In two weeks I’ll have a tough decision. I’m not worried about me I’m not afraid of death.

    But this now past ME it’s now WE and I can’t afford to endanger those around me many of whom are ever 70 like me.

    Still we will get through this! As many here have pointed out there is no valid reason to delay FA or the draft. IMHO we can take plenty of precautions yet preserve some of our pleasures like the NFL draft.

    We SHALL adapt! Movie theaters are adapting spacing seating for social distancing.

    I agree with Bonsai that it might inconvenice the NFL. TOUGH.